The Washington Wizards will soon launch a team in the NBA Gatorade League (G League), as the organization plans to establish a club for the 2018-19 season.
The G League franchise will its home games at a new Wizards’ practice facility in Ward 8 in Washington, DC. The G League is slated to play the 2018-19 season with at least 27 teams.
“I’m thrilled to welcome the Washington Wizards to the NBA G League family,” said NBA G League president Malcolm Turner. “We’re looking forward to working closely with the Monumental Sports & Entertainment team to introduce the exciting brand of NBA G League basketball to the D.C. market as our record 27 th team prepares to play in the 2018-19 season.”
“The NBA G League has been a great resource for us over the years, both for calling up talent and for allowing young players on our roster to gain more on-court experience,” said Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld. “Having our own team, selecting the front office and coaching staff and being able to implement our system will allow us to further enhance our player and staff development program moving forward.”
Washington’s new NBA G League affiliate, like the Wizards, will be owned and operated by Monumental Sports & Entertainment. The NBA G League team will play its 24 home games at a new, state-of-the-art venue on the campus of the former St. Elizabeths Hospital in southeast Washington. The St. Elizabeths facility, set to open in 2018, will also serve as the practice facility for the Washington Wizards and the home of the WNBA’s Washington Mystics.
Last season, the Wizards assigned Danuel House, Sheldon McClellan and Chris McCullough to the NBA G League. House appeared in seven games with the Delaware 87ers and averaged 13.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 2.0 assists. McClellan had two stints in the NBA G League in 2016-17, splitting time with the Delaware 87ers and Rio Grande Valley Vipers. In six games with Delaware, he averaged 10.7 points to go with 3.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists. He joined Rio Grande Valley during the Vipers’ playoff run, contributing 19.0 points on .633 shooting with 3.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists in three games. Prior to being traded to the Wizards from the Brooklyn Nets, McCullough was a member of the Long Island Nets for 31 games. During that time, he averaged 18.1 points with 7.7 rebounds, earning a spot on the NBADL All-Star team. After being acquired by Washington, McCullough appeared in 12 games with the Northern Arizona Suns, averaging 10.9 points and 5.3 rebounds.
Since the NBA G League began in 2001, the Wizards have called-up a total of 17 players (10 since the start of the 2010-11 season). Notable call-ups include: Bobby Simmons (Mobile Revelers, 2002-03), Alonzo Gee (Austin Toros, 2009-10) and Garrett Temple (Reno Bighorns, 2012-13).
In April, the NBA G League finished a record-breaking season that included new marks for unique NBA players assigned (92) and players on end-of-regular-season NBA rosters with NBA G League experience (199 – 44% of NBA players). Five current Wizards have NBA G League experience, including starting center Marcin Gortat, who appeared in 2007. Guard/forward Sheldon McClellan and forward Chris McCullough both spent time on assignment last season.
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